endemic to a single nation
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Type of Residency: Year-round
Global Range: (20,000-200,000 square km (about 8000-80,000 square miles)) The core of the range encompasses southeastern Indiana, southwestern Ohio, and north-central Kentucky, with disjunct populations in western Kentucky, westernmost West Virginia, and central Tennessee (Inner Nashville Basin ecological subregion of the Interior Plateau) (Scott et al. 1997, Watson and Pauley 2005, Niemiller et al. 2006). See Kraus and Petranka (1989) and Kraus (1996) for further details.
See Kraus (1996).
Habitat and Ecology
Comments: Upland deciduous forest in regions of rolling topography; mostly in areas with limestone bedrock, a few in noncalcareous regions with sandstone and shale (Kraus and Petranka 1989). Adults usually underground, under rocks, leaves, logs, etc. Breeds most frequently in first- and second-order streams. Typically deposits eggs singly on undersides of flat rocks in pools and (less often) runs. Less frequently breeds in ponds. Most successful in streams that are seasonally ephemeral, have natural barriers (cascades, waterfalls) that prevent the upstream movement of predatory fishes, and have large flat rocks for oviposition (Kraus and Petranka 1989; see also Copeia 1992:468-473). Larvae in stream pools in Kentucky were most abundant among filamentous green alga Cladophora, which provides protection from predators and supports prey organisms (Holomuzki 1989).
Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.
Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).
Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.
In Kentucky, migrations to breeding streams begin in late October and continue through March (with winter lull) (Petranka 1984); overwinters close to breeding site (Kraus and Petranka 1989).
Comments: Adults eat terrestrial invertebrates, especially earthworms. Larvae eat aquatic invertebrates.
10,000 - 100,000 individuals
Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but likely exceeds 10,000.
Number of Occurrences
Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.
Estimated Number of Occurrences: 21 - 300
Comments: Kraus (1996) mapped 80+ known collection sites, not all of which necessarily represent distinct occurrences. But surely there are many more occurrences than those mapped by Kraus (1996). Careful examination of specimens may reveal the existence of barbouri populations that have been previously identified as Ambystoma texanum (Watson and Pauley 2005).
In Tennessee in 2005, streamside salamanders were found at 5 of 40 surveyed localities in southern Rutherford, northern Bedford, and northeastern Marshall counties, and at only 4 of 6 previously known breeding sites (Niemiller et al. 2006).
Life History and Behavior
Comments: Inactive during coldest and driest months. Larvae often active in open in breeding streams during daylight (Petranka 1983).
Breeding season prolonged; low levels of activity from late December to early April (Kraus and Petranka 1989); usually February-March in West Virginia (Green and Pauley 1987). Larvae hatch in 29-82 days (mostly April in Kentucky, Petranka 1984). Larvae metamorphose in 7-9 weeks, May-June (mainly late June in Kentucky).
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Ambystoma barbouri
No available public DNA sequences.
Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Ambystoma barbouri
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N4 - Apparently Secure
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: Relatively small extent of occurrence in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, and West Virginia; widespread habitat loss and degradation, but apparently secure.
Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable
Environmental Specificity: Narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements common.
Global Short Term Trend: Relatively stable to decline of 30%
Global Long Term Trend: Increase of 10-25% to decline of 50%
Comments: Species has declined in many areas throughout its range where native forests have been destroyed and replaced with pastureland or residential areas (Petranka 1998). Bluegrass region of Kentucky is undergoing rapid urbanization and needs additional protection. One of the two known populations in West Virginia may have been destroyed recently by development (Watson and Pauley 2005). Continued habitat fragmentation and alteration in association with urbanization in Rutherford County, Tennesse, threaten existing A. barbouri populations, which may represent the last remaining populations in the state (Niemiller et al. 2006). Stream drying, flooding, and predation were important sources of mortality in Kentucky (Petranka 1984). May be restricted to upper portions of breeding streams because of fish predation (Petranka 1983).
Global Protection: Several (4-12) occurrences appropriately protected and managed
Comments: Several populations occur within small preserves in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky (Petranka 1998). Additional protection is needed (Petranka 1998).
The streamside salamander can be found in upland deciduous forest in regions of rolling topography, mostly in areas with limestone bedrock, a few in noncalcareous regions with sandstone and shale. Adults are usually found underground, under rocks, leaves, logs, etc. It breeds most frequently in first- and second-order streams, and typically deposits eggs singly on the undersides of flat rocks in pools and (less often) runs. Less frequently, it breeds in ponds. Reproducton is most successful in seasonally ephemeral streams, those with natural barriers (cascades, waterfalls) that prevent the upstream movement of predatory fishes, or have large flat rocks for oviposition.  Larvae in stream pools in Kentucky were most abundant among the filamentous green algae (Cladophora), which provide protection from predators and support prey organisms.  The species is restricted to Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, and West Virginia, with an isolated population in Tennessee.
Total adult population size is unknown, but likely exceeds 10,000.
- Kraus and Petranka 1989
- (Kraus and Petranka 1989; see also Copeia 1992:468–473).
- (Holomuzki 1989).